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  • Writer's pictureChantell van den Heever

#Roadtrip - Three "Bucket-List" self-drive trips I've taken in Namibia & South Africa.

There is something very liberating, about a road-trip. Think Thelma & Louise or Little Miss Sunshine. At the heart of a road trip, is the feeling of escape - escaping the norm, the every-day life, the daily schedules. Those, long open roads, give you time to think and a certain expectation of fulfilment at the end of it.

And these road-trips did not fail in the expectation category. It was the end of August beginning September - flower season in the Western Cape. The round-trip journey from Cape Town to Paternoster can easily be done as a day trip, but with a keen amateur photographer in the car, plus all the cars waiting to get in, you will be well advised to take it in your stride. Plan for at least

an overnight trip, but best as a 2-3 night getaway. You are in the West Coast National Park within about an hour from Cape Town leaving you the day to explore the natural canvas surrounding you in this coastal National Park. Then through the park, on to the jewel of a town - Paternoster via Langebaan. If you did not know better, Paternoster could be mistaken for a village in Greece. This West Coast town is a weekend favourite for Capetonians so be sure to book in advance.

Damaraland - Namibia The expectations were high when setting off on this 600kms journey from Windhoek, to see the Desert Elephant in Palmwag Concession, located in the North-West. You could, of course, break your journey and visit the ancient Rock-Paintings en-route but our time was limited and we wanted to spend as much time in Palmwag area as possible. And this did not disappoint. We knew that the chances were slim to see the Desert Elephant in their natural habitat, but we were blessed with sightings of these African Bush Elephants, adapted to extreme temperatures and the rocky plains of northwest Namibia’s Kunene region. We spend 3nights in Palmwag, with early morning & evening game drives, which also did not disappoint with a Leopard viewing and other wildlife. We visited Etosha National Park, a 4-hour journey from Palmwag, ending off our trip with spectacular wildlife viewing for another 2 days, before heading back to Windhoek.

Sanhof Lilies - Namibia

At the end of February, after a very long drought season in Namibia, the rains fell and we were blessed with the appearance of these funnel-shaped flowers (Crinum Paludosum) commonly known as bushveld vlei lilies. Knowing that these flowers only bloom for a short period of time and that they were last seen 3 years ago, we jumped at the chance to take the 300kms trip from Windhoek to view this rare phenomenon. Located on the Farm Sandhof, about 40km outside Maltahöhe, we were in awe of the beauty that awaited us. If you are in Namibia, and these appear, you must take a deviation from your planned itinerary to add, to your Namibia travel memories.

I take to the open road. Healthy, free, the world before me.” – Walt Whitman

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